Self-Driving Cars: The Digital Transformation of Mobility
Autonomous vehicle technology is maturing rapidly. It may not be long before the first fully autonomous cars operate on public roads. We examine the impact of self-driving car technology on the provisioning of personal mobility and show that the technology has the potential to disrupt the auto industry. The ability to drive without human presence and supervision unleashes the car from the need for a human driver. This enables new mobility services where anybody can summon a car by mobile app; the car appears with little delay, drives the passenger to the destination, where it is then available for the next passengers. We examine the characteristics of such fleets, discuss estimates of optimal fleet sizes and show that the fleets have the potential to greatly reduce travel cost per km and to simultaneously reduce the ecological footprint of mobility.
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